MANILA, JULY 30, 2012 (ABS-CBN) by Jojo Malig - President Benigno Aquino on Friday night lashed out at Philippine media for alleged bias toward negative news reports.

Aquino, in his speech at the 25th anniversary celebration of TV Patrol at the Manila Hotel, said he wants a positive spin in news stories and commentaries from ABS-CBN's flagship primetime news broadcast.

"Kung gabi-gabing bad news ang hapunan ni Juan dela Cruz, talaga namang mangangayayat ang puso’t isip niya sa kawalan ng pag-asa," he said. "Ilang turista kaya kada buwan ang nagka-cancel ng bakasyon dahil sa araw-araw na negatibismo? Ilan kayang kababayan ang nawawalan ng pagkakataong magkaroon ng kabuhayan dahil sa bad news na ito?"

Aquino also said overseas Filipino workers should get more good news from home. "Kung isa po kayo sa sampung milyon nating kababayan na nagsasakripisyo sa ibayong-dagat, gaganahan kaya kayong bumalik dito kung mas nakakasindak pa sa Shake, Rattle, and Roll ang balita sa telebisyon?"

He cited one flagship anti-poverty project of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo that he continued -- the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program -- which he said should get more positive news reports in media.

"Sa mahigit tatlong milyong pamilyang benepisyaryo ngayon ng Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, hindi naman po siguro mahirap maghanap ng isang magsasabing, 'Malaking tulong ang programang ito,'" he said.

"Hindi ko hinihiling na kumatha kayo ng mga gawa-gawang kuwento, o pagandahin ang imahen ng gobyerno. Ang akin lang po, kung naibabalita ang mga nagaganap na krimen at trahedya, ibalita rin naman po natin sana kung paano ito naresolba," Aquino said. "Ang pagkiling sa negatibismo ay mag-aatras lamang sa dapat sana’y pag-usad na ng ating bayan at mga kapwa Pilipino."

He issued similar statements during the 25th anniversary of BusinessWorld newspaper also on Friday night.

"Too often, these days, when we switch our televisions to the news, or when we browse through the pages of our papers, we are greeted with negativity," he said.

"The news shouldn’t be about competing with other outfits on who can sell the most negative headlines; it shouldn’t just be about attracting more and more readers in the short term. Think about it: In the long term, how many people would be willing to pay just to have their day daily ruined? How long can an audience withstand negativism day in and day out?" Aquino said.

He said the media should join forces with the government and the public in creating "an environment of positive, progressive discourse."

"We must veer away from negativity and sensationalism. These must not run the course of our national discussions. Negativity leads to despair, which leads to apathy, which then perpetuates the vicious cycle," he said.

It was not the first time that Aquino has vented his ire on Philippine media.

In April this year, Aquino said at the Philippine Press Institute's National Press Forum and annual membership meeting that the country will have difficulty reaching the target to attract 10 million tourists by 2016 if media continues to focus on crime and the negative.

He accused Filipino journalists of having a "crab mentality" and accused them of pulling down efforts of other Filipinos.


Aquino slams news delivery during TV network’s bash By TJ Burgonio Philippine Daily Inquirer 2:28 am | Sunday, July 29th, 2012

[PHOTO -President Benigno Aquino III. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO]

Why greet viewers a “Magandang gabi, bayan (Good evening, nation)” when you’re dishing out bad news?

President Benigno Aquino III on Friday night lashed out at executives, producers and staff of ABS-CBN’s “TV Patrol” for highlighting the negative in their early evening news program during the show’s silver anniversary celebration at the Manila Hotel.

Mr. Aquino was particularly alluding to the program’s news main anchor, former Vice President Noli de Castro, whom he criticized for what he called his skeptical, out-of-place snide remarks about otherwise good stories by the field reporters.

Mr. Aquino said that in October 2011, the program aired a story about a 200-percent spike in passenger arrivals at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3.

‘Good news’

“This is good news. In spite of this, one of your news anchors managed to comment, and I quote, ‘Nasa Naia 3 ka kasi; kung nasa Naia 1 ka, doon malala (That’s because you’re in Naia 3. If you were in Naia 1, it’s terrible there),’” he said.

“It made me wonder, what has the report about Naia 3 got to do with Naia 1? Has anybody said Naia has been fixed? If someone did, it’s not us. Perhaps he has forgotten the structure is 30 years old,” the President said in Filipino.

“It got me to thinking: Didn’t the commentator hold the reins of government for six years? Let’s say they only inherited the problem. But what they passed on to us is a much older problem. He had been given six years to help fix the problem he’s complaining about. And now that we’re dealing with the problem, we still hear comments like that and it hurts,” the President said.

Praise for ‘TV Patrol’

Mr. Aquino spoke before a crowd of ABS-CBN executives, led by chair and chief executive officer Gabby Lopez, president Charo Santos-Concio and news and current affairs division head Ging Reyes as well as officials and staff of “TV Patrol” in the hotel’s Fiesta Pavilion.

Mr. Aquino started off on a light note, recalling how as a youngster, he used to tune in to “Radyo Patrol” for instant news especially when the power had been cut off by a storm.

He praised “TV Patrol” for its courage and determination in bringing news and information to the public, especially in times of disasters, for the past 25 years and being the source of accurate reporting “when there are doubts in the minds of the public about certain issues.”

But for most of his speech, he zeroed in on De Castro’s remarks on some of the stories, including last month’s rescue of an abducted Burmese boy by the National Bureau of Investigation and the dialogue between Transportation Secretary Mar Roxas and public transport drivers on the transport fare hike.

Burmese boy rescue

The rescue had all the elements of a good story: The authorities got a tip, and they acted on it, rescuing the victim and the boy was reunited with his parents, Mr. Aquino said.

“Everybody was happy except our anchor who managed to remark that maybe the rescue operation was set up and that a ransom was paid,” Mr. Aquino said.

“No matter how the reporter explained the operation—that the NBI conducted its own surveillance and that they had chanced upon the boy without anybody guarding him—the anchor kept pushing his point,” he said.

“Surely, while patrolling every nook and cranny of the country, you’d stumble upon a positive story that could be a source of inspiration and hope for our countrymen. It’s doubtful that if you air this news, the TV and radio sets of your avid listeners would go on fire,” the President said.

He clarified that he was not asking the network to project a good image of the administration but to present a balance of good and bad news.


Palace: PNoy's speech not only for ABS-CBN Posted at 07/29/2012 4:59 PM | Updated as of 07/29/2012 8:33 PM

MANILA, Philippines – Malacańang has clarified that the scolding spree of President Benigno Aquino III that happened during the 25th anniversary celebration of "TV Patrol" last Friday was not solely for ABS-CBN but for all mediamen.

This is what Presidential Communications Group Secretary Sonny Coloma (photo) said during his interview with radio dzMM on Sunday.

Coloma said the President’s speech last Friday had the same theme when he spoke before a news organization in the past, as well as when he addressed the Philippine Press Institute.

"Kung titingnan po natin 'yung dalawang mensahe po niya dun [ay] iisa lang ang tema: tinatawagan ang mga kagawad ng media na maging balanse sa kanilang pag-uulat, maging makatotohanan dahil iyan po ang inaasahan ng ating mga mamamayan,” Coloma said.

"Kung magbabalik-tanaw tayo, 'yan din ang mensahe ng Pangulo sa Philippine Press Institute na taga-pagpatnubay ng media sa pagsunod sa mga alituntunin o standards ng journalism," he added.

Coloma maintained the President is open to any criticism but he insisted that there should be balance and responsible journalism.

"Sa kabuuan, ang amin pong hinihingi ay patas na report, makatotohanan at wala po kaming hinahangad na gumawa ng prior restraint dahil iginagalang po natin ang kalayaan sa pamamahayag," he said.

Coloma said the media should be an instrument to further improve the lives of Filipnos through broadcasting good news so as to boost the country’s tourism efforts.

"Pinupunto lang ng Pangulo, maaaring maging instrumento sa pagbabago 'yung mass media sa pamamagitan ng pagbibigay din ng mabuting balita, positibong mensahe, na siyang mag-e-encourage din sa ating mga kababayan," he said.

"Kapag kasinungalingan, maaari pong malinlang ang ating mamamayan, disencouragement sa mga turistang nagbabalak na magpunta dito. Sayang naman, malaki ang tulong ng tourism industry sa ating kabuhayan," Coloma added.

Coloma also said the President respects the freedom of the press but said it would be best for everyone if the media will be more responsible.

"Ganun na lang po naman ang pagsisikap na patatagin ang institusyon ng demokrasya katulad din ng freedom of the press at tatatag pa ito kapag responsable po ang paggamit nito," he said.

Last Friday, Aquino criticized "TV Patrol" anchor Noli de Castro for his negative comments to positive government news he occasionally makes during the banter portion at the end of the daily news programs.

"Kung alam mo na opinion-maker ka, alam mo rin dapat na may responsibilidad ka. Sana po sa tuwing sinasabi nating magandang gabi bayan, sana totoong hinahangad natin na maging maganda ang gabi ng bayan," the President said.

Aquino also vented his frustrations over de Castro’s negative extemporaneous comments and he even cited several examples.

In response to Aquino's comments, Ging Reyes, head of ABS-CBN's News and Current Affairs Division, said: "Criticism is not a monopoly of journalists and media practitioners. The President had as much right to free speech as every citizen."

"But the focus of Friday's celebration was TV Patrol's 25 years -- the people behind the stories, the unsung heroes behind the cameras and unforgettable events that shaped history. We did not just remember the disasters, anomalies and political upheavals that TV Patrol covered. We also celebrated stories of remarkable achievers and everyday heroes, whose triumphs over adversity is a testament to the resiliency of the Filipino spirit," she added.

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

All rights reserved